County Legislators Want New Approach to Fighting Violent Crime

June 26, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2013 at 12:51 PM EDT

By Ed Reilly

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June 26, 2013 Updated Jun 26, 2013 at 12:51 PM EDT


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) Two members of the Erie County Legislature say more needs to be done to deal with violent crime in Buffalo.

Erie County Legislature Chairperson Betty Jean Grant and Legislator Timothy Hogues are calling on the New York State Police and Erie County Sheriff's Department to expand their presence on city streets.

"Because we have too many of our young children dying and going to their graves too early," said Legislator Hogues.

"Gun buy backs are not the answer. We need to get the guns that are not being turned in," added Chairperson Grant.

The request comes less than 24-hours after a shooting near East Ferry and Stevens Avenue took the life of a 20-year old woman and injured a 27-year old man.

It also follows the release of the FBI's annual crime statistics report that showed Buffalo had 3,380 violent crimes in 2012.

An analysis of the FBI's data done by Business First concluded that Buffalo had the 11th most violent crime rate of any major American city that was included in the FBI database.

City officials say they are always willing to accept more help in fighting crime, but they point out that since 2005 crime overall has decreased nearly 20% in the City.

"And every month of this year, crime is lower than what is was in 2012," said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

According to Mayor Brown, the City already works closely with the State Police, Erie County Sheriff's Office, and federal law enforcement.

""Every night in the City of Buffalo with our Operation Strike Force, we have New York State Police and the Sheriff's department working with Buffalo Police . . . and that is going on right now," commented Mayor Brown.

Chairperson Grant and Legislator Hogues are calling for a July 17th public safety summit to discuss the issue of violent crime.

It will be held at the Frank E Merriweather Jr Library located at 1324 Jefferson Ave, Buffalo.